A rare and extremely wet and cold winter has hit coastal communities in Florida and the Southeast, sending water and wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, damaging houses, cars, and boats, and knocking out power to millions.
The storm has killed at least two people and left thousands without power and caused hundreds of thousands more to be without water, power and phone service.
The Florida Department of Health says more than 2,000 people have been hospitalized and more than 30,000 have been without electricity in the Sunshine State.
The storm also has caused major damage to the Belmar resort, a popular beach town in central Florida.
“This storm is absolutely unprecedented and I am just amazed at the severity of the damage we are seeing,” said Dr. Jeff Schulz, head of the emergency medical services at the Florida Department Of Health.
“It’s a storm that we have never seen before and it’s an event that has not been seen in the state.”
Ahead of the storm, officials warned that the storm could dump up to 20 feet of rain on the Keys, which have the highest rate of flooding in the country.
The hurricane, which is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression by Sunday afternoon, is expected to be a hurricane for the next few days, with winds of 65 mph (100 kph) and gusts up to 65 mph.
Forecasters are predicting that the strongest winds will likely come off the eastern coast of Florida, the Gulf Coast, the Bahamas, and northern Caribbean islands.
But the storm is expected the strongest to blow inland.
Irma, the strongest storm to hit the United States since 1950, has brought devastating flooding and mudslides to parts of Florida.
It has also created mudslide and mudflats in the Florida Keys.
The flooding has been so bad that some people are living in cars and homes.
The National Weather Service said that the Florida coastline is likely to see up to one foot of rain.
The forecasted storm surge will be about five feet (1 meter) above the surface, and it could cause serious damage to homes, power lines, and businesses.